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Clarke: Tiger is a 'really good kid'

Darren Clarke was one of the more popular winners of the British Open because of his zest for living and the way he relates to the common man.

Why should someone root for Tiger Woods, he was asked Tuesday.

"Good question," Clarke said, pausing briefly. "Because beneath it all, beneath all the stuff that's happened, self-inflicted or otherwise, he's essentially a really good kid - a man - beneath everything. ... Underneath it all, he has been a tremendous friend to me."

They will be paired together for the first two rounds of the Bridgestone Invitational, where Woods is a seven-time winner and Clarke won in 2004.

Elsewhere

DALY AND COMMISSIONERS: John Daly ran into his share of trouble early in his career when Deane Beman was the PGA Tour commissioner.

Even so, Daly said he didn't rejoice when Beman retired and was succeeded by Tim Finchem.

"I never really liked Deane, but one thing about him, I respected him. He was approachable," Daly said Tuesday from the Reno-Tahoe Open. "I can't talk to Finchem. Maybe it's the TV contract and his job is more frustrating than Deane's was because the money is so big. But I've never gotten to know Finchem the way I got to know Deane. "

CADDIE FOR HIRE: Tiger Woods still hasn't settled on a permanent caddie, using longtime friend Bryon Bell for the Bridgestone Invitational.

That's not to say he hasn't had a few offers.

"How many? I hear there's been a few," Woods said. "People who are not caddies out here? A ton. ... But as far as a timetable ... right now I'm trying to play this week with Bry, and hopefully next week, as well, and maybe get myself in the playoffs."

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